If you are thinking about applying to NSLI-Y or if you are currently participating in the NSLI-Y application process and you have any questions, feel free to ask me! Whether it is about the application, interview, essays- feel free to contact me by email.



How did you go to Korea? – Through the NSLI-Y Scholarship

What did you have to pay for? – My passport and all my souvenirs

How old are you? –  I was 16 and a rising junior during the summer program. I did the AY program as a gap year so I was 18 when the program started and turned 19 while on the program.

What was your knowledge of the Korean language before you arrived? – For the OPI I tested as novice low but by the time I was in Korea, I was probably novice-intermediate due to how much I studied beforehand and since I was placed in the “intermediate” class during the summer program.

When I retook the OPI before the AY program, I started the program with an Intermediate Low-level knowledge of Korean.

Any tips for me applying? – Check out this post

Interview Tips? – Check out this post

What was your interview like? – Check out this post 

(Academic Year) Interview? – Check out this post

What was an average day like on the program? – Check out this post

(Academic Year Version): Check out this post

What were Korean classes like? – Check out this post (Summer) & this post (AY)

What were supporter groups like? – Check out this post

What were Korean cooking classes like? – Check out this post

What did you pack for the trip? – Check out this post for the 9 month program and for the summer, check out this post 

Should I be a NSLI-Y Alumni Rep? What is the Workshop? – Check out these posts

What is StarTalk? – Check out this post

How was being an Alumni Leader for PDO? Check out these posts

8 thoughts on “Questions

  1. nikola mazur says:

    Hi Emma,

    Fellow Illinoian here (wow, that sounds a little odd)! I am currently applying for the NSLI-Y Korean summer program. For the letter to the host family, should it be as formal as maybe the other two essays, or more informal? I went the more sophisticated and formal way, but it’s also just the way I write and I was wondering what was best. Also, although I believe my chances are fairly good, what would you say really sold the judges (I’m not sure what to call them)? I’m really not sure as to what they expect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • endeavorswithemma says:

      Hello Nikola!
      Just a warning, I am sorry for my long response! Haha

      In my host family letter, I wrote with pretty formal diction. I believe most did {I read some of the other essays of the kids on my program} seeing that the host families will be strangers at the beginning of the summer so it is important to show respect. Many of us even included a thank you in the intro/conclusion. Most alumni, in the past years, did not have their letters read by the family but most of the kids in my program, including myself, did. For my program the families all went to a meeting before receiving us and they read our letters there. Secondly, I feel like the thing that NSLI-Y is really looking for, as an underlying theme in your essays, is PASSION! You don’t have to be a very eloquent writer or have a super amazing GPA {I mean the requirement is only 2.5} because those things really don’t have any correlation to language learning. Your application and essays need to showcase the passion you have for this opportunity. Words that are meaningful are better than big SAT words any day.


  2. Ioana Stoica says:


    Recently I have been accepted for the nsli-y korea summer (seoul). I’m excited but also have some questions before i confirm to nsli-y that I’ll be going. How often did you get to speak to your family back home and did you use your own phone, or was it through email to communicate with them? Also, when paying for things like souvenirs, did you bring money with you and was it through a card or cash?

    I really wish to go, but i have to convince my family first. Hopefully I’ll be able to convince them!

    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • endeavorswithemma says:

      Hello Iona! I spoke to my family once a week {usually on Sunday’s} through skype and then more frequently by messaging with Kakao Talk {Korean free messaging app}. How often you speak with them is all up to you as you get to choose when you set up times to talk with them. You can use your own phone I guess but then you’ll probably receive international data charges. And secondly, I highly recommend bringing a debit card! That way you won’t have to carry a lot of cash on you but can exchange money by ATMs while you need it. ATMs are really easy to find in Korea and they work with American cards. I hope this helped you~ and I hope you have a great summer if you do go to Seoul~ You’ll never forget it!feel free to ask me any other questions you may have later~ -Emma


  3. katyatiffany says:


    I just want to start off by saying I love your blog! It was really informative and I just have a question about the nsliy program. I’ve been really interested in it for a while now and you’ve really inspired me to actually do it. For the academic year, what classes do you take in school, like is there a choice of classes like in American high school or something, idk? Like what classes did you take part in besides the Korean lessons? Hope you are doing well!

    Thank you so much!


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